I’m so excited to be working with Simply Crochet Magazine this week for World Craft Week! All week long they are sharing exclusive free patterns and hosting special quick competitions, all with the aim of getting everyone crafting and supporting a good cause! I’m also launching my great yarn giveaway here too so keep reading for a chance to win some yarn!!
This year they’ve teamed up with Bliss, a charity that focuses on helping families with premature or sick babies (www.bliss.org.uk) to launch a new craft charity campaign called Craft4Bliss. This of course is so close to my heart as when I’m not designing I work as a Midwife so have seen first hand how wonderful the work is that Bliss does.
Over 95,000 babies are born premature or sick and in need of neonatal care in the UK each year. That’s 1 in 8 babies, or around 270 babies every day.
The time babies spend on a neonatal unit and the care they receive is vital to determining their chances of survival, long-term outcomes and quality of life.
Why Bliss is needed – a few facts about premature babies and babies born sick
- Over 60 per cent of babies in neonatal care are born full term but sick. The five most common conditions are respiratory problems, infection, hypoglycaemia, jaundice, and asphyxia/HIE.
- 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK each year and most premature births are spontaneous, with no clear cause. Many of these babies will need urgent neonatal care after birth.
- Premature birth can result in life long conditions such as cerebral palsy, behavioural and long term health problems. Some research has also found that the earlier a baby is born the higher their risk of having special educational needs at school.
- The UK has one of the highest rates of premature birth in the world, ranking 134 out of 184 countries. This is higher than many countries in Europe and higher than Peru, Chile and Egypt.
Bliss works tirelessly to support families and professionals caring for these babies. They campaign for change and are constantly providing new research to push forward and support these babies in every way they can.
How can you help?
Simply Crochet are giving away a free digital magazine in light of World Craft Week, consisting of over 40 pages of different craft projects. Simply visit www.worldcraftweek.com and fill in your details, you’ll then be sent an email straight away with the download link. The digital magazine is completely free but as it’s to support a charity this year they kindly ask that you donate an amount of your choosing to Bliss, which you can do so here www.bliss.org.uk/craft4bliss
The other thing you could do is host a Craft4Bliss event and make some things to donate to help babies near you that need to spend time in a neonatal unit. (I love this idea as it means a great excuse for coffee and cake too!)
Make sure you head over to Simply Crochet this week as they share lots of free patterns and tutorials to help get you crafting and donating.
If you would like to knit or crochet items to be donated to premature babies there is some information and specialist patterns from Bliss here, most local NICU’s will take donations (although be sure to check as some have to be particular about types of fibres used), or you can get in touch with Mylo and Friends who are always happy to receive your knitted/crocheted items.
But don’t forget about the most important thing, it’s all about raising money for a good cause. There are 5 different ways to donate – it couldn’t be easier!
1. Craft4Bliss – take part using the sponsor form on the back page of the digi mag and make a donation or host an event and ask family and friends to support you.
2. Buy a Craft Download for £3 – visit www.buysubscriptions.com/Craft4Bliss and choose one of our four craft downloads or you could buy the lot!
3. By Text – you can text your donation by sending MAKE14 followed by the amount (MAKE14£10) to 70070
4. By Justgiving – create your own fundraiser page or simply donate what you can to support Craft4Bliss. Visit www.bliss.org.uk/craft4bliss
5. Send a cheque – you can send a cheque made payable to Bliss to, CRAFT4BLISS, Bliss, 2nd Floor Chapter House, 18-20 Crucifix Lane, London SE1 3JW. Please write CRAFT4BLISS on the back of your cheque
Finally, to show my support to this wonderful charity, I’m giving away a whole load of yarn to five lucky people!
There will be a mixture of different yarn in each pack and all you have to do is follow me on Instagram or Facebook and then comment on this blog post with what you’d like to make with any of the yummy yarn in this picture:
The competition is open worldwide and all I ask is that you use some of the yarn to make something of your choice to donate to your local neonatal unit if you can.
The winners will be chosen at random and announced on Thursday 19th April.
Good luck everyone!!